Monday, December 12, 2011

Orange juice exposed

Most orange juice manufacturers would have you believe that orange juice is purity in a glass; a simple, natural, single-ingredient product.
But behind this image of purity is a product that is heavily processed and engineered. 
If it's made from concentrate, the juice goes through a process where all the water is removed - and with it much of the flavour. 
In the case of 'not from concentrate' juice, the liquid is pasteurised and 'deaerated' so it doesn't oxidise. 
It's then put in huge storage tanks where it can be kept for upwards of a year.
This process also strips the natural flavours form the juice. 
When the juice is ready for packaging, companies add chemical 'flavour packs' consisting of orange oils and flavourings to make it taste fresh again. 
The flavours they add are designed to meet local taste expectations; thus OJ in California might taste completely different from that in Spain or the UK.
The end product may taste fine, but to call it 'natural' is probably stretching credibility.
Juice is only one part of the whole fruit, and the real benefits of any fruit are gained by eating the whole fruit. 
While oranges are high in vitamin C, other fruits are much higher. 
An orange for instance, contains about 30g vitamin C per 100 g fruit. 
Compare this to the 2000mg in the equivalent amount of rosehip, or the 200 in blackcurrants (which are also local and abundant in the UK), or the 90g in kiwi fruit or even in broccoli. 
Most fresh fruits and vegetables are also high in antioxidants. 
The closer to home they are grown the higher their antioxidant content will be.
So is organic orange juice a better option? 
The answer is yes - and no. 
Growing organic oranges does not involve the use of pesticides and fertilisers and therefore it may have a lower carbon footprint and lower impact on the environment. 
However if it comes in a carton or bottle it will have gone through the same industrial process as non-organic juice and is therefore still less nutritious than eating an actual orange or squeezing juice from an organic orange for yourself.
Besides preparing your own juice is a pleasure.
Nothing beats freshly squeezed orange juice

1 comment:

kelly said...

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